Whatever the issue and occasion, North Korean ambitions loom large. Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong recently opined that the confrontation between the United States and his nation “will lead to very catastrophic results, not only for the two countries but for the whole entire world as well.”
Actually, most of the world doesn’t much notice the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Nevertheless, everyone would benefit if international relationships involving the DPRK became more normal.
Interviewed by the Associated Press, Ri defended the right of his nation to possess nukes and blamed American hostility for forcing the DPRK to create a nuclear deterrent in self-defense. The latest missile test, he said, gives North Korea “one more means for powerful nuclear attack.”
However, Ri suggested a potential deal between North Korea and the United States: “Stop the nuclear war exercises in the Korean Peninsula, then we should also cease our nuclear tests.” It’s an idea worth pursuing.
Pyongyang is unlikely to ever agree to fully disarm. It has spent too much developing nuclear weapons. Nukes also offer security against the world’s greatest military power, which has demonstrated a propensity for ousting the regimes of largely defenseless antagonists.